SIU men’s track and field sends three representatives to NCAA’s

By Gus Bode

And then there were three

Three Salukis attend the prestigious NCAA Outdoor Championship.

The SIU men’s track and field team proves that you can’t hold a good Dawg down.


The team sent three of its players to compete with the top college athletes at the NCAA Outdoor Championship last month.

Jeff Young, Adam Judge and Jaanus Uudmae all attended the prestigious event held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.

“The National Championships are a very difficult thing to do,” SIU head coach Cameron Wright said. “You have to be better than the top 99 percent of athletes to get to go.”

Young was seeded 19th in the 100-meter hurdles. He advanced to the semi-finals, but didn’t make the cut for finals. He placed 12th overall with a time of 13.93 seconds, just more than his personal best of 13.77.

Judge was seeded ninth in the hammer throw, an event he dominated in the Missouri Valley Conference. He placed tenth in the tournament with a toss of 205 feet, four inches.

Uudmae, who was seeded 11th in the triple jump, finished 18th with a mark of 50 ft and 10 inches.

“All three of those guys have worked extremely hard this year and deserve everything they’ve gotten,” Wright said.


The trip to the NCAA only improved an already great season for the three Salukis.

Uudmae has a season best jump of 53 ft and 5 inches and qualified for both the indoor and outdoor nationals. Young set the SIU record in the 60m hurdles (7.77) and qualified for both the indoor and outdoor nationals. Judge’s personal-best toss of 216 feet and one inch in the hammer throw, set both a MVC and SIU record. He also set a new SIU record for the weight throw with a toss of 69 ft and four inches.

Wright knows that these achievements for the athletes are only a starting point. He was encouraged by their performance at the NCAA and knows that the experience will help them next year.

“Jeff Young and Adam Judge, next year, should be thinking about the steps they need to take to win a national championship,” Wright said. “Somebody’s got to do it. It might as well be them.”

Young appreciated his experience and has used it to set his sights for next season.

“I know what I can achieve, and I have already set goals for next year,” Young said. “I know for a fact that I can win the indoor and outdoor championships.”

While the experience benefited the individual participants, Wright said many of the other players were motivated to work hard to reach the same achievements as their teammates.

“I think that the guys making it to the National Championships helped our young guys realize they can do it too,” Wright said.

The experience at the NCAA was not only a lesson in strength and athleticism, but also in hard work and dedication.

“If they can take the fact that ‘Oh, if I work hard at everything in life, then I can be very successful as a person,’ and hopefully they achieve that as well,” Wright said.

Reporter Kristina Dailing can be reached at [email protected]